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aerial view of the MHU

Sunnybrook's Mobile Health Unit (MHU)

Sunnybrook's Mobile Health Unit (MHU) allows us to safely care for more patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, as needed.

In partnership with the federal and provincial governments, this new unit means that specialized resources, such as intensive care, can be made available in hospitals for those who need it most. 

Update - September 2, 2021: The Mobile Health Unit at Sunnybrook has now been decommissioned. During its four months of operation, 32 patients from around the GTA were cared for in the Mobile Health Unit.

» View previous updates

July 6, 2021: Medical supplies and equipment housed inside the Mobile Health Unit are being removed. Deconstruction of the structure is scheduled for early August.

May 25, 2021: With a recovering health-care system, there are currently no patients in the Mobile Health Unit at Sunnybrook. The facility will be maintained for the foreseeable future and MHU teams will be mobilized should the need arise.

April 30, 2021: Members of Joint Task Force Central began their first shift in the Mobile Health Unit at Sunnybrook on April 30, 2021. A total of 34 medical personnel will support the Mobile Health Unit. The Mobile Health Unit is not an ICU. In the Mobile Health Unit, the teams will be working with hospital staff to care for non-critical patients who are recovered or nearly-recovered from COVID-19.

April 26, 2021: Ten beds within the Mobile Health Unit have been made available to help ease pressures in acute care hospitals. The first patient was transferred to the Mobile Health Unit on April 26, 2021.

April 19, 2021: The Mobile Health Unit is now being set up for patient care. Some beds will be available this week, with a total of 20 beds by the end of April 2021. The Mobile Health Unit should only be used as a last resort when there are no beds available within hospital buildings.

April 8, 2021: Construction of the Mobile Health Unit is nearly complete, and oversight is beginning to transfer from the contractor to Sunnybrook. It is now being set up for patient care, with plans to open 20 patient beds by the end of April 2021.


Take a look inside

Measuring 2,088 square metres (22,475 square feet), the Mobile Health Unit is located in one of the large parking lots at the north end of Sunnybrook’s Bayview Campus. It is a fully contained patient unit with capacity for up to 84 patient beds and all the necessary supplies and equipment to provide safe medical care.

Video:

Photo gallery:


About the Mobile Health Unit

At this time, our Mobile Health Unit will care for patients who are recovering or have recovered from COVID-19 and are awaiting to go home or to be transitioned to an alternative care setting. It will be staffed by a team of clinical professionals, including doctors, nurses and allied health professionals (e.g. physiotherapist, social worker, dietitian).

» Download a fact sheet about our Mobile Health Unit (PDF)

Videos:

» Is the Mobile Health Unit a safe place to receive care?

Hear from Debra Carew, Clinical Operations of the MHU at Sunnybrook:

» What's involved with setting up the Mobile Health Unit for patient care?

Hear from Debra Carew, Clinical Operations of the MHU at Sunnybrook:

» Why is the Mobile Health Unit needed and what will it be used for?

Hear from Robert Burgess, Senior Director of Emergency Preparedness at Sunnybrook:


Frequently asked questions

If there is a medical emergency, will patients be transferred to the main hospital?

Unless a patient suddenly requires specialized care that cannot be met in the MHU, patients will remain safely in this unit. For medical emergencies that cannot be met, emergency services will be called and patients will be transferred appropriately.

How long will patients stay in the Mobile Health Unit?

The purpose of the Mobile Health Unit is to offer safe, short-term transitioning care. As like any hospital unit, the health-care team will continue to work with patients and their families to facilitate discharge from the MHU to home or to the most appropriate care setting.

Is the Mobile Health Unit a safe place to receive care?

The safety and care of our patients is our number one priority. The care offered in the MHU is no different than any other hospital unit. It is a fully contained patient unit staffed by a team of clinical professionals including doctors, nurses and allied health professionals (e.g. physiotherapist, social worker, dietitian), and equipped with all of the necessary supplies and equipment for safe medical care.

For safety and security, the MHU is also equipped with the appropriate fire-safety systems, air filtration, nursing call bells, and 24/7 security.

Are ICU beds in the Mobile Health Unit?

No. At this time, our Mobile Health Unit will care for non-critical patients who are recovering or have recovered from COVID-19 and are awaiting to go home or to be transitioned to an alternative care setting. These temporary beds can provide added capacity to the health-care system by freeing up acute care beds within hospitals.

My friend / family member is a patient in the Mobile Health Unit. Can I still visit?

Visitation is based on our current visitor policy and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to take into consideration the space within the Mobile Health Unit and patient condition. If allowed at this time, the health-care team can help schedule any visits. Thank you for your understanding during these challenging times.

How can I connect with my loved one? Do patients have access to Wi-Fi or telephones?

Connecting with your family member is of utmost importance during this time. Patients in the Mobile Health Unit have access to free Wi-Fi and are permitted to use their own personal mobile devices.

The hospital also has tablets available for patients who do not have their own device. Please let your loved one’s care team know you are interested in a virtual visit. We can help set up a “visit” on a mobile device that is carefully cleaned between uses. ​

Can I drop off a care package, flowers or food delivery for a patient?

Clothing and other items can be dropped off for patients of the Mobile Health Unit at the M1 (main) entrance to the Bayview campus hospital building between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Please do not drop off any items at the Mobile Health Unit.

At the Bayview campus M1 (main) entrance, you will be screened and you will not be allowed to enter the hospital. Place items in a bag labelled with patient’s name and the Mobile Health Unit; the bags will be delivered to the Mobile Health Unit at regular intervals. Anything dropped off outside of these hours listed above will be delivered the following day.

Flowers are not permitted at this time.

A note about food items:
Please note that only pre-packaged, non-perishable commercially prepared food items, or single-serving homemade food items, will be accepted. Food items must not require refrigeration or heating, and must be in a disposable container (containers and any leftovers will be thrown out). Please note that we cannot guarantee the food will get to the patient on the same day or at a particular time.

How can I send a gift to a loved one?

The Sunnybrook Gift Shop offers free delivery to patients at the Mobile Health Unit. Order your chosen gift online and let your loved one know you are thinking of them.

Can patients order food through delivery services?

Meals will be provided in the Mobile Health Unit just as they are on any other patient unit at our Bayview Campus. Takeaway orders from restaurants or food delivery services such as UberEats, Skip the Dishes, DoorDash are not permitted at the Mobile Health Unit at this time.